Monday, March 21, 2011

Maple Candy

Maple candy is delicious to eat and easy to make. It doesn't photograph very well, however, so there is no picture here.

The maple candy we buy often comes in cute shapes. I don't own candy molds, and wanted to minimize any fussiness in the procedure, so in this recipe the candy is poured onto a prepared cookie sheet in the same manner that free-form chocolate and chocolate barks are made.

Maple Candy

Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Allow sufficient foil to hang over the two short ends of the pan to create handles. Place a piece of parchment over the foil. Tear off a second piece of parchment of equal length and set aside.

Pour 2 cups of real maple syrup into a large, heavy bottomed pan. I used an 8-quart stock pan. It sounds like overkill, but using a large pan is critical. In a smaller pan, the hot syrup will increase significantly in volume as it approaches the target temperature, threatening to spill over the top. You need to use a good-size pan.

Using a candy thermometer and stirring occasionally, heat the syrup over medium-high heat to 235 F (110 C). Remove from heat. Let cool without stirring until the temperature falls to 175 F (80 C). This takes about 10 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, stir the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the syrup thickens a bit and starts to lighten in color. DO NOT OVER STIR. And do not stir until it looks like it is the color that you think maple candy should be or you will have a mess that can't be poured.

Pour the candy onto the prepared pan. Using the second sheet of parchment paper, press the candy flat. Using the foil handles, lift the candy out of the pan and onto a rack to cool.